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Who wants to travel with me on out next @wattsoflove trip? I promise it will change your life!

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John Economou, Sean Economou and @christiedunne rejoice after packing up over 1000 solar lights heading to Uganda. We are so excited about our amazing partnership with U4Uganda. They have been an amazing partner in so many ways and we can’t wait to deliver lights with them. #PartnershipWithPurpose

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At some point in everyone’s life we all encounter loss. It’s often very painful and changes us forever. Although new life grows in the soil of loss, it is never a easy process and it’s something no one ever wants to encounter! When I was a little boy, my cousin Kurt died very suddenly of Reye’s syndrome. He was only 13. It was devastating on his dad, mom, brothers and sisters. He was the first person I ever knew that passed away.
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Just a few months ago, Kurt’s old grade school had a rededication to a memorial tree that was planted at the time of Kurt’s death. In honor of the tree rededication, I posted something on Facebook to remember my cousin Kurt. To my surprise, @orlaithcarmody saw my post and asked if I would allow my writing to be in a book she was creating about loss and grief. I agreed. The book, WITHOUT YOU LIVING WITH LOSS, was released last week and I am so please that Kurt’s story may help someone as they begin the healing process.
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Although there are some bad things about social media, I thought, today we could all be brave and gentle enough to have a special post to honor the emotion of grief and anyone you may have loss.
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As a way of remembering those that we have lost please consider leaving a comment below by put the words…. in honor of (name here) and the hashtag #withoutyou.
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If want to go deeper and share a little about that person and how losing them affect you, please feel free.
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The new book WITHOUT YOU LIVING WITH LOSS is an intimate collection of letters to loved ones who have passed away. Proceeds from the book will go directly to Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock Hospice.
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The book aims to provide comfort and solace to anyone who has experienced a bereavement, or who is about to face one. By encouraging conversations about loss, Orlaith and the book’s other contributors hope their letters will provide comfort and inspiration. You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking the link in my bio.
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By sharing and remembering our common experience of loss, I believe we all can receive a small touch of additional healing, grace and peace.

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At some point in everyone’s life we all encounter loss. It’s often very painful and changes us forever. Although new life grows in the soil of loss, it is never a easy process and it’s something no one ever wants to encounter! When I was a little boy, my cousin Kurt died very suddenly of Reye’s syndrome. He was only 13. It was devastating on his dad, mom, brothers and sisters. He was the first person I ever knew that passed away.
.
Just a few months ago, Kurt’s old grade school had a rededication to a memorial tree that was planted at the time of Kurt’s death. In honor of the tree rededication, I posted something on Facebook to remember my cousin Kurt. To my surprise, Orlaith Carmody saw my post and asked if I would allow my writing to be in a book she was creating about loss and grief. I agreed. The book, WITHOUT YOU LIVING WITH LOSS, was released last week and I am so please that Kurt’s story may help someone as they begin the healing process.
.
Although there are some bad things about social media, I thought, today we could all be brave and gentle enough to have a special post to honor the emotion of grief and anyone you may have loss.
.
As a way of remembering those that we have lost please consider leaving a comment below by put the words…. in honor of (name here) and the hashtag #withoutyou.
.
If want to go deeper and share a little about that person and how losing them affect you, please feel free.
.
The new book WITHOUT YOU LIVING WITH LOSS is an intimate collection of letters to loved ones who have passed away. Proceeds from the book will go directly to Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock Hospice.
.
The book aims to provide comfort and solace to anyone who has experienced a bereavement, or who is about to face one. By encouraging conversations about loss, Orlaith and the book’s other contributors hope their letters will provide comfort and inspiration. You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking the link in my bio.
.
By sharing and remembering our common experience of loss, I believe we all can receive a small touch of additional healing, grace and peace.

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Today I return to speak at my old high school Montini Catholic. I have been asked to talk speak to students about a career as a photographer. Although I really don’t embrace that title or the job of being a photographer, I am honored to have been asked.
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I believe the title of photographer is antiquated and a camera is just a tool. A camera is no different then a hammer and nails. The tool is irrelevant. A guitar is silent until it is held in the hands of someone who knows how to draw the music out from the strings and frets. It’s what the creator does with the tool that matters, not the tool itself.
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I see myself as story teller. I tell stories to try and understand the world and hopefully myself better. I use photography, video, art, music, typography and words as my strings and cords to create.
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When I located my freshman yearbook and found my senior class ring, I began asking myself what would I want to tell “young Kevin” about life? If I could travel back in time and give “young Kevin” one crucial piece of advice to help him on his journey of life what would that advice be?
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Then I began to wonder, if “young Kevin” would have listened? Would he understand? Would he have cared? Would have anything in my life turned out differently?
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If you have made it to the end of this long post, I would like to ask each of you to write a comment of advice you would have liked to shared with your “young self.” Think of it as going back in time and writing something in your own personal yearbook. A fortune cookie that is 100% honest. A commencement addresses delivered to a captive audience. Profound scripture scribed on a bathroom stall. Or in today’s vernacular, a post that is more than just click bait.
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I look forward to reading your advice to your “young self” and will share a few with the students today. I can only hope and pray that they will listen to the music you will help me create today.
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And yes, that is me with a marvelous head of hair. .
#WhatIWouldTellMyYoungerSelf

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This is why some are afraid of the dark. @wattsoflove

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Would you be willing to spend $5.99 to help someone step into their life’s calling? This is my friend Patrick Mayberry. Patrick is the most talented musician, and songwriter I have ever heard.
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Throughout my life, I have had the good fortune to know and photograph a few people before they became famous for their talents and were discovered by the world. Some how I just knew they had that unexplainable “it” quality. How do you describe that “it” quality? You can’t! You can only experience “it” and hear “it” in your soul.
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Because he is so humbled, his heart is to sever others (he is the worship leader at Soul City Church) and how he doesn’t like to put any focus on himself, Patrick will most likely feel very uncomfortable with the words I just wrote. I don’t care. I am a big believer in him and his talents.
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Today, Patrick is releasing a new album called JOY and I am asking each person reading this to feel and hear what “it” sounds like. Plus, if you do buy his music, you can someday say… “I was listening to him BEFORE he made it big!”
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I promise you buying, it will allow you to hear a touch of the future and help someone step into their destiny.
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Click iTunes link in my bio

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Reflection provides direction.

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One man’s trash is another man’s art.

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As you encounter people today, remember to be kind and try to extend grace. No matter who they may be, everyone is dealing with something.

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Animal Kingdom. Amazing face.

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Don’t go chasing waterfalls at night.

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Next stop to the top Everest!

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Irish moments remembered. Nothing like a fine Irish mist.

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Irish moments remember. This early morning scene was so still and silent. The peace and tranquility permeated our pours. #ireland #galwayireland #portumna

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It’s @kevinkuster announcing today’s theme.
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Theme: Journey
Tag #jj_forum_2203
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My family and I are trying to get out of town for Spring break for a little family journey. So far no luck! Flying standby has it’s challenges but, we are hopeful we will be going someplace today. To help me pass the time in the airport, I made today’s theme Journey and used this photo I shot last year at the Cliffs Of Moher in Ireland.
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Start submitting your photos and I will be back to highlight later.
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#JJ_EXPLAINED-.
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Are you new to the community? It’s not as confusing as it seems at first. :-) . Here’s the deal.
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Every morning, NYC time, we make a post announcing our new theme and tag. Your job is to tag images that fit the theme. You can use shots youhave already posted but we really love to see the theme inspire you to find new shots. The @jj_editors, @joshjohnson and I scour the tag and repost our favorite submissions through out the day. Over half a million people might see your pic! Pretty cool stuff.
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We are ALL about keeping things simple, but in the spirit of our motto, “Create to connect”, we ask that you follow our only “rule”. We call it the 1-2-3 rule. For every 1 image you tag, comment on 2 in the tag and like 3 others.
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Glad you’re here. Can’t wait to see your shots. Speak up if you have questions or comments. We like to think this is the friendliest place on the Internet.
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Keep scrolling community and I will be back to highlights later @kevinkuster

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Irish moments remember. Sometimes the view is better after the struggle of the journey.

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So please to have been featured by Mobiography. Click to download and read the feature: www.mobiography.net

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I once heard a great definition for the meaning of the word hope. HOPE = Hold On Pain Ends.
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Since becoming a parent I have learned so much about myself, life and how nothing in life is guaranteed. Although we are all encouraged to “pursue happiness,” life can sometimes seem as though it was designed to keep you from the very thing you are encouraged to pursue.
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I have also learned that being a parent is the hardest job in the world and nothing can prepare you for it. When your child struggles or experiences pain, you want to do everything to lessen the blow or sorrow they are experiencing. Since the day my son came into this world I have always known there would be struggles but, if I am being really honest, I didn’t know how much his struggles would affect me.
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Since the day the doctor put my son into my arms and said “here is your new born son DAD” I have tried to help him to the best of my abilities. I often fail. I am human. I am flawed. But, I will never stop trying and I will never give up on doing right by him as his dad. It’s my greatest honor to be his father!
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Recently, my son and I have had a road of hardships and uncertainty. I am not going to sugarcoat it—it’s been really difficult and very painful on many levels. I have shed more then a few tears however, I have HOPE and my faith sustains me.
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Do to this time of uncertainly, I had to make the difficult decision to not travel to Ireland with Josh and be at the #JJ instameet in Dublin. Words can not express how hard it was for me to not meet my obligations to @irishrail @stpatricksfestival, @esbarchives Ardnacrusha, @jjindublin @hilary_kavanagh and all the very special friends I have made over the past two years in Ireland.
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Thank you @Joshjohson for all of your support, help and words of encouragement. You are a great listener. You have taught me so much and you are a dear friend to me.
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I hope everyone will all understand why I had to make this choice and accept my apology. My son needs me right now and my role as his dad is the most important thing I will ever be called to do in life. Sincerely @kevinkuster

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I once heard the phrase “worships is when we allow the interruption of our internal preoccupation with ourselves.”
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Let’s face it, if we are all being really honest, a large time of our mental thought is spent on ourselves. We constantly have thoughts like… “How will this situation affect me?” Or…”How does that disruption change what I wanted to do?” Or… “Will I regret not saying or doing something?” These types of sentence go on and in our minds like a skipping record playing the same song over and over again. Sometimes the record is played very softly and sometimes the lyrics can be deafening.
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My friend Tom uses the funny phrase… “l am not much but, I am all I think about.” This why I love photography, and good storytelling so much. I see both of these actions as a form of worship for me. The act of capturing images and telling others stories allows me to completely get out of my head and I can completely focus on others. I am only tool that is used to tell someone else’s story. .
For me the act transcends the action when it has a higher purpose. Simply stated… when I focus on others, my purpose in life becomes more clear and this clarity puts me in a place of worship. #philippines2018

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Walked the entire airport in Korea and could not fined ONE winter Olympics souvenir. Did I miss something while I was gone? What the heck!

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See potential not poverty. Recently, I have found a snap shot doesn’t satisfy me. I am no longer inspired by being an observer and just snapping pictures of what is happening around me. I want to be a recorder. A documentarian of humanity. I want to see and document truth! Not just my truth, my perspective, my opinion. I want to record the kind of truth that isn’t often communicated, easily captured or often expressed.
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I know my vision, my perspective, my opinions can be and is most often flawed.
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My experience is SO different then the people we serve. I am a middle aged, college educated, white male, that grew up in the suburbs and do to my parents hard work, love and support received more blessings then I will ever deserve.
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When these Maobo women see themselves, they do not see poverty. They do not see weak. They do not see themselves with a hand out pleading to be saved. Their truth is that they are strong, beautiful, empowered women, wanting to make a better life for their children, families and themselves.
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Are they thankful for the assistance we provide them by giving them a light, that can transform their lives? Yes. But…. they don’t want a handout. They want a hand up! The difference between the two is monumental. Assistance wrapped in dignity. Help tied with a bow of self-reliance. Don’t we all want and deserve a hand up to reach our next mountaintop?
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As you view each face in this photo, please see their truth, not your perspective. See the hand up, not a handout. See potential not poverty.

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Banka boat, sunset, South China Sea = priceless. #Philippines2018

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Very often the brief window to take an important picture is only open for fraction of a second or less.

Many of the people I encounter on our Watts of Love trips don’t want to smile when I ask to take their photos. Most like all of us are self-conscious. I believe regrettably, everyone has one or two things about themselves they wish were different. “I don’t like my hair. I don’t like my smile. I have big ears. I need to loose weight, etc, etc.” We truly are our own worst critics.

When I asked to take this women’s photograph she agreed immediately. She didn’t hide or try and run away. She followed me right to the area I was snapping images and stood perfectly still.

I snapped a photo. Not much was reveled by her. I snapped a second image. Still nothing. Finally, I slowly looked slightly over my camera and made a big silly, grinning smile. And we both burst out laughing. Everyone around use laughed at us laughing.
It was the perfect moment. Neither of us where aware of any of the lies we tell ourselves about what we wish were different about ourselves. Instead we both enjoyed the moment of being silly. Being human. Being exactly who we were meant to be. #Philippines2018

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Light radiates from within when someone can see a brighter future. @wattsoflove

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Light radiates from within when someone can see a brighter future. @wattsotlove #wol, #philippines2018 #givelight

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Schools closed for a snow day in Chicago. #philippines2018

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